SUNY colleges plan for spring semester

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ONEONTA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — SUNY Oneonta is now looking ahead to the spring semester. The college will be implementing new requirements to avoid a repeat of what happened back in September, when over 500 coronavirus cases were confirmed, which resulted in the cancellation of in-person classes.

Before students return to SUNY Oneonta’s campus in February, they will need to test negative for COVID-19.

“We also created a testing center on our campus, so there are surveillance testing. Students are tested on regular intervals. The testing is done at SUNY Upstate Medical Center. Again, we have a testing team on our campus,” explained Dennis Craig, Acting president at SUNY Oneonta.

He said for now, the plan is to have students get tested every two weeks, and wastewater will be tested as well. Roughly 1,100 students will be allowed to live on campus, but will be in single dorm rooms. Who lives on campus will be decided by a tier system. 

“We do have students who are homeless and have nowhere else to go. For these students, Oneonta is their rock. We are their home. So that small subset will be the first priority. Second, is those taking an in-person class that by necessity need to be in-person.”

When it comes to SUNY Cobleskill’s plans for the spring semester, not a whole lot is going to change from the fall semester, except more in-person classes will be offered.

“We are very excited that we can offer 43% in-person classes. They have to come back with a negative COVID test. They also have to attest to us that they quarantined, precautionarily quarantined, for seven days,” explained Dr. Marion Terenzio, President of SUNY Cobleskill.

Wastewater and pool testing will continue to be conducted. President Terenzio stated that SUNY Cobleskill students have been remarkable throughout this pandemic.

“Everything that they did already this semester that worked so well—social distancing, taking care of one another, and just being present and caring about each other—I think that’s the most important ingredient. Caring about each other, mask-wearing, and social distancing.”

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